Captain Donald Kerry (Deke) Forbes, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, on January 5, 2020, in Virginia Beach, VA. He was 93 years of age.
Born February 4, 1926, and raised in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Minnesota, he entered the US Navy in 1944 upon graduation from high school. He gained a fleet appointment to the US Naval Academy in 1946 and graduated with distinction in 1950. Upon graduation, he entered flight training, winning his Navy Wings of Gold in early 1952. His first fleet squadron was the world-famous Jolly Rogers (VF-61) where he flew 4 versions of the Grumman F9F jet
fighter from 1952-1955, while making several extended aircraft carrier cruises. ln July 1955, he reported to the U.S. NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL, Monterey, CA., earning his BS, Aeronautical Engineering in June 1957. The following year he was awarded an MS, Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Later career assignments were with VX-4 at Pt. Mugu, CA, the US Naval War College, and three tours in Heavy Attack Squadrons at Whidbey Island, WA; two squadrons of which he commanded. Sandwiched among the three Whidbey assignments were assignments to the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and the Naval Air Systems Command. Post Whidbey tours were as Operations Officer, Commander Carrier Division TWO, and as a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He commanded NAS Quonset Point, RI in 1972 and was the 65th Commandant of Midshipmen, US Naval Academy from 1973-1976. Retiring from the Navy in 1977, he worked for Booz, Allen & Hamilton until final retirement in 1986.
In retirement, he traveled, played golf and researched and wrote extensively on the natural causes of climate change.
He was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam; a Trustee Emeritus, U.S. Naval Academy Foundation; and a former member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, the late Rosamond Marshall Forbes, who passed away in March 2013. He is survived by their three children, Kerry Forbes Johnson (Rick), Dale Kimberly Forbes, and CDR Donald Christopher Forbes, USNA Class of 1981 (Erin); 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 27, 2020, at 1300 in the US Naval Academy Chapel, followed by a reception in Alumni Hall. Inurnment will take place in the Naval Academy Columbarium. Memorials may be made to the US Naval Academy Foundation (Athletic and Scholarship Program), 25 Maryland Ave Annapolis MD 21401.